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Tuesday
Dec232008

Malaysia’s Tigers thrown a lifeline

An ambitious Malaysian Tiger Action Plan aims to increase wild Tigers in Peninsular Malaysia to 1,000 animals by 2020. Click photo to enlarge © Elizabeth Kemf / WWF-Canon Update: Dismembered Tigers seized in Thailand

Just days after the Action Plan to protect Malaysia's Tigers was announced, Thai Police discovered the partly dismembered carcasses of four Tigers on a truck in Prachuap Kiri Khan province.

The animals were believed to be from Malaysia and were being smuggled to China. Two men were arrested.

"The gruesome discovery is a potent indicator of the seriousness of the threat posed by poaching to South-east Asia's last surviving Tigers, and the urgency with which the issue needs to be addressed," said Azrina Abdullah, Regional Director of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia.

Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, 23 December 2008—Conservation groups today welcomed the release of the much-anticipated National Tiger Action Plan for Malaysia, calling the Plan an important milestone in Tiger conservation in the region.

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Wednesday
Dec172008

1000 new species in Greater Mekong

Described in 2005, the Laotian Rock Rat Laonastes aenigmamus was first encountered by scientists on sale at an outdoor food market in Lao PDR Click photo to enlarge © David RedfieldHa Noi, Viet Nam, 17 December 2008—Over one thousand new species have been discovered in the Greater Mekong Region of Southeast Asia since 1997, says a new report by WWF.

Among the most incredible finds documented in First Contact in the Greater Mekong are the Lao Rock Rat, thought to have gone extinct 11 million years ago but discovered in a Lao food market; the hot-pink “dragon millipede” that produces cyanide in self-defence; the world’s largest huntsman spider, which has a leg span of over 30 centimeters; and a new species of purple banana from Southern China.

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Wednesday
Dec102008

Myanmar emerges as ivory trade and elephant smuggling hot spot

Capture of wild elephants for work in the timber industry has fuelled the decline of wild elephant populations in Myanmar Click photo to enlarge © Lek Chailert   Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 11 December 2008—Around 250 live Asian Elephants have been smuggled from Myanmar in the past decade, mostly destined for “elephant trekking” tourism activities in neighbouring Thailand, a new report by the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC reveals today.

Meanwhile blatant illegal ivory trade continues in Myanmar, with TRAFFIC surveys of 14 markets and three border markets in Thailand and China finding 9000 pieces of ivory and 16 whole tusks for sale.

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Tuesday
Dec092008

Meeting to develop wild meat monitoring system for Central Africa

Participants at the Douala workshop © Roland Melisch / TRAFFIC en Français

Douala, Cameroon, 9 December 2008—In December 2008, TRAFFIC organized a workshop in Douala, Cameroon, to develop a wild meat trade monitoring system in the Central Africa sub-region.

In collaboration with selected key stakeholders, participants developed a monitoring system that uses available survey information to provide a regular overview through proxy indicators for Central Africa.

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Monday
Nov242008

India's wild medicinal plants threatened through over-exploitation

A report into trade in medicinal plants finds species, such as the Himalayan Yew are in decline through over-harvesting Click photo to enlarge © Samir Sinha / TRAFFIC India   Delhi, India, 24 November 2008--India is a hub of the wild-collected plant medicine industry in Asia, but key species have declined owing to over-collection to supply domestic and foreign medicinal markets, and action needs to be taken to ensure the sustainability of supplies, finds a new study released today by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

The study, commissioned by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN), focuses on seven plant species of conservation concern protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

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Friday
Nov212008

Local agreements sought to prevent forest loss in Ecuador

TRAFFIC runs workshops on governance and transparency in the Amazon basin

A representative of a local chainsaw and logger association shows his documentation for legal timber Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC South America  Quito, Ecuador, 21 November 2008--Local people living in and close to Amazonian forests in Ecuador have been consulted through a new TRAFFIC project to devise the best ways to manage their forests sustainably and prevent forest loss and degradation.

TRAFFIC and local partner Servicio Forestal Amazonico brought together local forestry stakeholders including loggers, timber traders, carpenters, indigenous people, forest authorities, police, municipalities, non-governmental organizations and others.

"People living in or close to forests can have a strong interest to conserve and manage their natural resource sustainably, but all too often their forests are being cleared or over-exploited," said Ulrich Malessa, TRAFFIC South America's Regional Timber Programme Co-ordinator.

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Thursday
Nov202008

Marine turtle campaign launched in Viet Nam

TRAFFIC is helping run a campaign in Viet Nam to raise awareness of the threat to marine turtle populations caused by illegal trade Click photo to enlarge © Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon  Ha Noi, Viet Nam, 20 November 2008—Travelers through Ha Noi this November might see something strange around West Lake: a line of cyclists dressed as turtles making their way through the traffic.

The cyclists, who will be carrying signs about marine turtle conservation, are part of a month-long strategic awareness campaign to alert the public to the conservation threat posed by illegal trade in marine turtles.

In addition to the bicycle road show, banners are being hung along major thoroughfares in Ha Noi, with messages highlighting the wild status of marine turtles and the illegality of purchasing marine turtles and their products.

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Wednesday
Nov192008

Healing Power from Nature wins international award

Cambridge, UK, 19 November 2008Healing Power from Nature, the TRAFFIC / WWF film launched earlier this year, has won the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic prize at the 35th International Festival of Sustainable Development Films.

 Healing Power from Nature: a new film explains the ISSC-MAP initiative (running time 6 minutes)

NOTE: If you are unable to see a still from the movie above, you can watch the film here.

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Monday
Nov172008

Focus on merbau trade

Logging truck carrying merbau logs, Vanimo, Papua New Guinea; much of the merbau from PNG is exported to China and India Click photo to enlarge © James Compton / TRAFFIC   Singapore, 17 November 2008—Merbau, a tropical hardwood whose deep red-brown colour makes it popular for interior finishing, paneling, strip and parquet flooring, furniture, veneer, decorative and novelty items, comes under the spotlight today at an international workshop organized by TRAFFIC Southeast Asia to discuss the sustainability of international trade in this valuable timber.

Participants from Australia, China, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and Thailand, representing the CITES Secretariat, national CITES Management and Scientific Authorities, international organizations, trade associations and research institutes are meeting in Singapore to discuss concerns over excessive logging and unsustainable merbau trade leading to over-exploitation.

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